Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekly Websites

The Expedition to Punt
Sincere thanks those who emailed in response to my plea for help finding online sources for this text: Tim Groot, Antje Spiekerman and Heimo Vesala. The results are as follows:

From the World History Primary Source Document Library website, here is a translation of the story in PDF format.

On the St Andrews University website there is a super resource providing transliterations of various inscriptions from ancient Egypt, all in PDF format, including the Expedition to Punt (from Breasted's Ancient Records of Egypt, Volume 2.

And from the Maat-ka-Ra Hatschepsut website by Dr Karl Leser there is a page showing various details of the Expedition with images (illustrations, photographs and a diagram showing the arrangement of the scenes), and a commentary on the text, including a short list of transliterations for some of the more unusual terms describing items acquired from Punt. The photograph of slightly damaged painted relief the lion, at the very end of the page, is lovely. The entire site is well worth a visit if you are interested in Hatshepsut, and is available in English and German. If you use the site to hunt for references to Deir el Bahri, note that it is referred to by its original name of Dser Djeseru.

Just for curiosity, the original Chapter 8, Queen Hatasu, and Her Expedition to the Land of Punt from Pharaohs Fellahs and Explorers by the remarkable Amelia Edwards is available online on the UPenn's Digital Library resource at this address.

ECHO Weblinks
This is a very useful set of links to just about every institution, archaeological mission and enterprise working in Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology right now. One or two of the links are broken, but the vast majority are active.

UPenn Online Books Library
James Breasted's five volumes of Ancient Records of Egypt: Historical Documents from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1906-7) are online at the above address

Predynastic and Early Dynastic - Bibliography and Chronology
For anyone starting out with studies in the Predynastic and Early Dynastic, the bibloiography and chronology supplied on this Trinitiy University page may well be of use. It has been put together to compliment a course being taught at the University. It also provides a link to the Oriental Institute's "maps" page, where a map of Egypt with all key sites is displayed.

Electronic publishing: the example of BMSAES
A fascinating 15-page paper by Nigel Strudwick, available online in PDF format. Here are his opening paragraphs:

Informatique et Egyptologie has tried to place itself in the forefront of encouraging developments in information technology (informatique, Informatik) into use in Egyptology. Issues which have beenaddressed, and which continue to be addressed, include databases, hieroglyphic word-processors, and the Internet. The stress over the past twenty years has very much been on encouraging developments to aid research, but the group has paid relatively little attention as to how this research should be disseminated and how the technologies we espouse so readily in other spheres might be turned to this end. It is now time for us to lead the way in publishing material via electronic media, since all work which has no publication might, in many ways, have been not done at all.

What is an electronic publication? In theory the term should refer to any document produced electronically and available in some way for public viewing, free or at cost. In practical terms I am thinking rather of completed work which traditionally would see the light of day in print.The most common method these days for presenting the results of research is via a web page, either as a complete web site, individual articles
or a journal-like publication available over the Internet. A CD ROM which fits the criteria of distribution just mention is another method, which these days tends to concentrate on large datasets and lends itself particularly to data which is not likely to be modified. It is not difficult to quote examples of both, particularly web sites, the latter of which lend themselves well also to publishing interim material on the way to the final report. The best example of a CD-ROM for our purposes is the AEB, but it might also prove an interesting adjunct to publish some of the raw data for a book in this way too.

Today the move is for material to be available on the Internet, although much of what I have to say below is applicable to any electronic format. My aim is to survey
the advantages and problems of the concept, and to look at some possible solutions. I wish to draw the reader’s attention to two particular publications which illustrate some of the concepts of electronic publication within the archaeological and Egyptological area.

If you want to check out BMSAES (British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan - all available free of charge online), please note that its home page has moved to a new address on the British Museum website.

Books of the Heavens
Another concise overview from The Nile Pharaoh blog, accompanied by illustrations. Here's an extract, but see the above page for more:

After the death of Akhenaten, signaling the end of the Amarna Period, we find a new set of Books related to the afterlife. These books centered around Nut, who swallows the sun god in the evening, only to give birth to him in the morning. During the day The sun god passes visibly along her body, but during the night, he travels through her body back to the place where he will rise once more.

Beginning with Ramesses IV, two of the Books of the Sky were usually placed next to each other on the ceilings of royal tombs. They depicted a double representation of Nut, back to back. The the focus is on the sun god, other heavenly bodies are also included. Generally speaking, the books emphasize cosmography and the topography of the sky, a topic which had its beginnings in the Book of the Heavenly Cow, though the astronomical ceilings found in the tombs of Seti I (KV17) through Ramesses III (KV11) can also be viewed as precursors to the Books of the Sky (heavens). These books are generally considered to consist of the Book of Nut, the Book of the Day and the Book of the Night.

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